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Nevada recreational marijuana sales on upswing

Nevada’s budding recreational marijuana industry posted its highest monthly sales totals yet in October, topping $37.9 million, according to the most recent report from the state.

The state Department of Taxation on Dec. 20 released the October figures, the fourth full month of recreational sales.

Recreational and medical marijuana sales brought in a combined $5.8 million in tax revenue to the state in October — about $1 million above August’s revenue, previously the state’s biggest month.

Nearly $3.8 million of the October revenue came from the 10 percent retail tax levied on recreational sales.

“We are pretty on target with projections, maybe a little over,” Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said.

Nevada has drawn in more than $19 million tax revenue from the marijuana industry since recreational marijuana went on sale July 1.

October’s sales marked a sizable jump from the roughly $27.7 million spent on recreational marijuana at Nevada dispensaries in September. Recreational sales in August weren’t too far behind October — when Henderson began retail sales — at $33.4 million.

More than $12.6 million comes from the retail tax on recreational weed. That’s 20 percent of the $63.5 million tax revenue projection budgeted for the first two years of recreational sales.

Pot dispensary patrons pay a 10 percent retail excise tax on recreational marijuana, which goes into the state’s rainy day fund.

The state also levies a 15 percent wholesale excise tax on all marijuana sales — recreational and medical, which is funneled to Nevada schools after the state and local governments take a cut for administrative costs.

That tax has generated almost $6.5 million since recreational sales kicked off July 1, and the state forecasts it will bring in over $56 million in revenue over the first two years of recreational sales.

The wholesale tax generated more than $974,000 in tax revenue in July, the first month Nevada dispensaries sold recreational marijuana.

The monthly average wholesale tax revenue Nevada drew in between July 2016 and June 2017, before recreational sales began, was $309,514.

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